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Remember to Never Forget

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It's nine years later, or maybe more or maybe less, but time stops and goes in landslides and jerking stops for Harry Potter, ever since the War ended. Sometimes he wakes up and it's Thursday and he wonders where the week went.

One Thursday he wakes up and it's been nine years, nine years to the day since the sun rose and he changed everything. It hits him then: every detail, every face on that battlefield cold and lifeless, every touch he'll never feel again. He stays inside, in Grimmauld Place, in Sirius' bedroom with the curtains shut tight and the lights off, and sobs, heart-wrenching, lung-emptying sobs until he feels like he ought to die, and it's then that the owl comes.

A great white snowy owl reminiscent of Hedwig, perhaps her cousin, swoops in his window and perches on his bedpost and hoots softly until Harry takes notice. He pulls back the covers and blinks into the early-morning light and stretches out his hand for the letter and mumbles, “Thanks, Moony,” and the owl leaves as quick as she came, a flash of white in the pink sky.

He unfolds the letter in the light of dawn, and the parchment is awash in gold, the midnight-blue script unfurling beneath his fingertips. He reads of grandmothers and pranking and friends and even laughs a little in fondness for this young boy so unaware of the disasters his godfather faced that 'nettle soup for dinner, again' is a travesty.

The letter is signed “Teddy Lupin”, the 'e' a half-moon and so vaguely familiar that Harry has to stop and trace its path with his thumb.

He feels something ending, something beginning, the shift in the universe so slight he barely catches it at all. But he feels it in the ink beneath his fingers, in the orbit of the moon across the sky, in the blood that pumps through his veins.

He places the palm of his hand on the wall above his bed and closes his eyes.

He breathes, just breathes, and feels the story rewrite itself like Skelegro, like families coming together and healing, the slow, patient healing of lives, of stories that never really end and hearts that never really break.

He can feel it, just beneath his hand, under wallpaper and plaster and flesh and blood and parchment and ink.

The story will never be over as long as someone lives to remember.